When was the last time you picked up and read a book from start to finish?
In this digital era, books are a dying hobby, unable to keep up with the interactive nature of audio and video format entertainment made widely available by the internet.
But, what if you were given the opportunity to “read” a human book instead? To listen to their life story and ask them questions.
Well, now you can do exactly that
every first Sunday of the month, at the Taman Tugu Human Library.
Held at the Taman Tugu Nursery in KL, up to 16 “books” are available every session. Anyone can join, and it’s absolutely free.
The programme is inspired by the first Human Library, or Menneskebiblioteket, as it’s called in Danish, in Copenhagen, Denmark which opened in 2000.
Aiming to encourage dialogue with a library of people to help address prejudices and stereotypes, TTHL maintains the core concept of Menneskebiblioteket where readers can “borrow” human beings as open books and have conversations they would normally not have access to.
According to TTHL head co-ordinator Mienal Hussein, the ultimate aim of TTHL is to break stereotypes and provide a safe space for sharing personal life experiences.
The first-ever TTHL was held on April 7 and titled “Malaysian Military History”.
The programme brought several Armed Forces veterans together to share their stories and experiences.
Since then, TTHL has expanded to include more genres with over 30 titles including cancer survivors, environmental conservation, May 13 Incident and refugees.
Just like paper books, every human book is unique.
Each one has a completely different perspective and they’re made up of volunteers who want to share their personal journeys and stories with anyone who will listen.
During the programme, half-hour reading sessions are conducted from 9.30am until 12.30pm in either Bahasa Malaysia or in English.
There will also be a Children’s Corner available during the reading sessions for visiting families with kids where they will have the opportunity to learn traditional games and participate in other interactive activities focusing on nature conservation.
At the moment, TTHL is managed entirely by volunteers and funded by public contributions.
For more information, you can reach out to Friends of Taman Tugu on their Facebook page.
The next TTHL reading session with be held on October 6 and consist of mixed genre.